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Dear Vice-Chancellor or Principal

1.   This letter notifies higher education institutions (HEIs) of the release of their summaries of funding and monitoring data. It also informs them of our plan to publish the funding data reconciliations later in the year. Last year these were released together as '2009-10 statistics derived from HESA data for monitoring and allocation of funding' (HEFCE 2011/13).

2.   Each HEI is expected to review these outputs, which were derived from the HEI’s Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) data. Any HEI that wishes to inform us of any errors in their data may do so by submitting an action plan by 4 May 2012 (see paragraph 7).

3.   Institutions in England and Northern Ireland can access their data from today. We will write separately to the heads of institutions and HESES contacts to provide the necessary extranet access keys for the funding summaries.

4.   This information enables institutions to access data that underpins the widening participation (WP), teaching enhancement and student success (TESS) and quality-related research (QR) research degree programme (RDP) supervision fund elements of the 2012-13 grant announcement. The 2012-13 funding summaries that are available are:

  • 2012-13 WP allocations
  • 2012-13 TESS allocation
  • 2012-13 QR RDP supervision fund allocation.

We also provide the HESES10 re-creation (individualised file only) output because some of the HESES re-creation derived fields are used to inform WP and TESS allocations.

5.   This release supersedes our previous combined publication of funding summaries and funding data reconciliations as '2009-10 statistics derived from HESA data for monitoring and allocation of funding' (HEFCE 2011/13). This year we have published the funding summaries earlier so that they may be considered in conjunction with the grant announcement; the funding data reconciliations will be published later in the year, to focus on reconciling differences between HESA data and other data that have been used to inform funding (such as the Higher Education Students Early Statistics survey (HESES)). The data reconciliation exercise will require a response from those institutions selected to go through a reconciliation process.

6.   Some of the algorithms used to inform our funding allocations have changed. They were originally published in 'HESA funding and monitoring data 2010-11: web facility' (HEFCE Circular letter 21/2011 published in August 2011), and the changes are documented at Annex A.

7.   The funding summaries are provided for general information and to provide further transparency about our calculations. However, we expect institutions to review all the outputs that we have derived from their HESA data, with a view to understanding how their data are used for funding. As in previous years, if errors are identified in HESA data, institutions may inform us of these errors by submitting an action plan. The deadlines for submission of an action plan and sign-off for amendments are:

4 May 2012 Deadline for the submission of action plans
18 May 2012 Deadline for sign-off of 2010-11 and 2009-10 HESA data amendments

8.   The provisional 2013-14 National Scholarship Programme (NSP) funding will be announced in a forthcoming circular letter, at which point the data that underpin the NSP calculations will also be made available. This output will not be provided for Northern Irish institutions.

How we allocate funding

9.   Our recurrent grants to institutions are almost entirely allocated by formula according to our expectations of what each institution will need for various activities and informed by data provided by institutions. Formula funding ensures we are fair, transparent and efficient in how we distribute grants to institutions.

10.   HEFCE has a fixed budget. Our funding methods are designed to ensure institutions receive an appropriate share of this budget, given the nature and level of their activities. To distribute this budget fairly between institutions, we need to check that institutions' activities are reported in a consistent way. So, when we collect information on students, their course and attributes, we need to ensure these are reported against common definitions.

11.   Further information about how we fund institutions is in 'Guide to funding: how HEFCE allocates its funds' (HEFCE 2010/24) and in the individual grant letters for 2012-13 that have been issued under embargo to institutions today.

Further information

12.   Guidance is available on our web-site ( Specific areas that may be of interest are:

  1. Extranet locations, deadlines and documentation can be found in the '2010-11 funding and monitoring data overview'.
  2. Further details about the preparation and submission of action plans can be found in the 'Guide to action plans'.
  3. Technical information (such as algorithms and problems of fit) are listed in the '2010-11 funding and monitoring data overview'.
  4. Further details about the funding summaries, including descriptions of allocation methods, can be found in the 'indicative funding summaries'.
  5. Information on how to obtain data from the HEFCE extranet can be found in the 'How to access outputs' guide .

13.   If you require further information contact Matthew Brind (tel 0117 931 7285, e-mail

Yours sincerely

Sir Alan Langlands
Chief Executive

Date: 19 March 2012

Ref: Circular letter 07/2012

To: Heads of HEFCE-funded further education colleges, Heads of HEFCE-funded higher education institutions, Heads of universities in Northern Ireland

Of interest to those
responsible for:

Student data, Planning, Finance, Audit

Enquiries should be directed to:

Matthew Brind, tel 0117 931 7285, e-mail